De facto currency

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A de facto currency is a unit of money that is not legal tender in a country but is treated as such by most of the populace. The United States dollar and the European Union euro are the most common de facto currencies.


Andorra used the euro unofficially prior to June 2013, at which point the euro became its official currency. The euro remains the de facto currency in Kosovo and Montenegro.

United States dollar[edit]

Countries using the United States dollar as their de facto currency include Aruba and Cambodia, where most hotels, restaurants, and transportation are priced in dollars;[1] Dominican Republic where it is acceptable in many places, including airports to pay temporary visa fees for non-US/Dominican visits; Iraq, where United States commercial, governmental and military involvement due to the Iraq War and the Iraqi Dinar's low value has made the US dollar highly preferred;[citation needed] East Timor, Lebanon[citation needed], El Salvador, Ecuador and Panama[citation needed].

Russian ruble[edit]

The disputed territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have the Russian ruble as their de facto currency.

South African rand and Botswana pula[edit]

Due to hyperinflation in Zimbabwe in 2006 to 2008, the government of Zimbabwe has allowed circulation of foreign currency since September 2008 and local currency became obsolete since 12 April 2009. Both South African rand and Botswana pula circulate in Zimbabwe.

Canadian dollar[edit]

The small French island of St. Pierre and Miquelon has the Canadian dollar as its de facto currency.[2]

Hong Kong Dollar[edit]

Hong Kong Dollar is widely accepted in Macau, even though it hasn't gained any official recognition from Autoridade Monetária de Macau (AMCM) as legal tender in Macau. Currently, Macauese Pacata is pegged to Hong Kong Dollar at 1.029(buy)/1.032(sell). However, many merchants who accept Hong Kong Dollars may now offer to pay the difference between 2 currencies, such practice is often called '不补水' in Chinese. If merchandise priced in Patacas is paid in Hong Kong Dollars, and if merchants practice '不补水', prices in Patacas may be rounded up to the equivalent in Hong Kong Dollars, and merchants would offer change in Hong Kong dollars. Or the amount of Hong Kong Dollars paid would be automatically transformed into Patacas and merchants would then offer change in Patacas.


  1. ^ "Cambodia: Money".
  2. ^